Preparing For The Inevitable; Not A Question Of If, But A Question Of When
As a nation, we are entering new age. The current signs of the times are reflected on the major television networks, in social media and a topic of conversation. Coronavirus 2 (COVID-19), a novel or new virus, first appeared in the Wuhan province of China, now designated as ground zero. The virus may not cause symptoms in some individuals, who unknowingly carry the virus to others. Some people may develop mild symptoms while older individuals or those with compromised immune function may develop Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome 2 (SARS-2). As the nation prepares, we too must prepare for the inevitable and instead of wondering if the virus will come into the area to accepting when it will come into the area.
In Kadoka, many businesses began restricting public access and requesting that the public utilize the internet to conduct business. Some businesses remain open and offer options to their customers to help them avoid or limit exposure. People’s Market continues to offer delivery services for grocery orders for its customers who choose to self isolate and avoid public places. People’s Market delivers orders after 4:30 p.m. and accepts orders by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (605) 837-2232. The web address https://peoplesmkt.com provides customers with the grocery store’s weekly advertisements in addition to other features including mobile applications. Another business offers older customers and those with health issues the option to shop early in the day to limit airborne exposure to the virus. Dollar General Store reserves the first hour of business, 8-9 a.m. each day for its older and health compromised shoppers. The best rule of thumb is to call the business and determine what options they offer customers in order to protect the health of their employees and their patrons.
This week, the Kadoka Rural Health Clinic temporarily closed in an effort to streamline patients to Philip Health Care Services (PHCS) where they concentrated healthcare providers in one location that offers diagnostic services for its patients. The primary recommendation to the public is to contact PHCS by phone at (605) 859-2566 to establish contact rather than coming to the facility. In the event of a life threatening situation, always call 9-1-1 for assistance. The PHCS facility, which includes the Hans Peterson Memorial Hospital, Silverleaf Assisted Living Center and the 30 bed nursing home began restricting visitors earlier in the month. In Kadoka, the local nursing home also began restricting visitors and enforcing protocol to protect the health of the residents and the staff.
The local governments remain open; however, public admission into the facilities is restricted or limited to protect the continuity of government on the city and county level. Jackson County Auditor, Vicki Wilson, noted the county is exploring the options available to conduct a virtual meeting or postponing the next regular monthly meeting scheduled for April 13. The city of Kadoka plans to conduct a virtual meeting for the next city council meeting on April 13. The Kadoka City Finance Officer, LaTasha Buchholz, noted the city web site, https://kadokasd.com, offers city residents the opportunity to be part of the virtual meeting by utilizing an application known as Zoom.
During this time, a vital tool to fight this pandemic is accurate information. The South Dakota Department of Public Health website at https://doh.sd.gov offers information to the public regarding the transmission and impact of COVID-19. Another reliable source of information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their website, https://cdc.gov, provides information for protecting yourself and your family.
Jackson County Emergency Manager, Jon Beck, noted that “each department is taking their own precautions” and recommends that people follow precautions and practice social distancing. Beck realizes it is only a matter of time before the flu infects local residents. “We know the COVID-19 is a serious flu pandemic that will at some point enter Jackson county.” One point of entry for the virus is Interstate 90 and Beck believes it is “a gateway into our country and communities. Again, its not about if it’s going to happen, but when.”